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Charly

Cliff Robertson , Claire Bloom , Ralph Nelson    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
Sale: CDN$ 129.23
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Customers buy this Movies & TV with NEW Flowers For Algeron (DVD) CDN$ 3.65

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Product Description

Amazon.ca

Adapted from Daniel Keyes's novel Flowers for Algernon, Charly must be viewed as a soap opera of and for its zeitgeist--the halcyon '60s, when "natural" was nirvana, the air hummed with the mantra "Everybody's beautiful," and all ills stemmed from institutional monoliths such as Science, Government, Education, Religion. Accordingly, Charly (Cliff Robertson) is a 30-year-old retardate whose doofus sweetness makes him superior to most able-minded folk, whether they're the bigoted dolts he sweeps floors for or the ambitious scientists who see him as the human equivalent of Algernon, a mouse they've surgically (but impermanently) smartened up. Naturally, post-op Charly, sporting a genius IQ, "sees things as they are." Trotted out as the neurosurgeons' poster boy, he stands up to the "learned" audience--shot as faceless, inhuman interrogators. He's every '60s flower child, berating his "elders" for blighting their brave new world.

The one gift Charly gets out of becoming Brainiac is sex. In a lengthy montage resembling a retro TV commercial, he and his special-ed teacher (Claire Bloom, madonna with eternal Mona Lisa smile) romp through an Edenic outdoors, their embraces hallowed by sunlight glinting through leaves, moonlight glinting on water, and sappy Ravi Shankar music. (Stylistic clichés also include embarrassing outbreaks of split screens and multiple small screens within the frame, notably when rebellious Charly turns biker.) Robertson's performance is well-meaning but hokey. Still, in the penultimate moments when Charly begins to slide back into retardation, the actor achieves a genuine tragic gravity, and he became a surprise Oscar winner for his pains. --Kathleen Murphy

Product Description

From The Classic Daniel Keyes Novel Flowers For Algernon Comes This "Moving" (Boxoffice) And Unforgettable Adaptation. Featuring An Academy Awardâ(R)-Winning* Performance By Cliff Robertson And A "Shrewd, Talented" Score (Variety) By Ravi Shankar, This Timeless Tearjerker Is "Definitely One To See" (Cue). When A Mentally Retarded Man Named Charly (Robertson) Undergoes Experimental Brain Surgery, He Is Miraculously Freed From The Prison Of His Own Mind. As His Iq Soars To Genius Proportions, Charly'S Eyes Are Opened To A World He'S Never Truly Seen. But When The Effects Of His Operation Inexplicably Begin To Fade, Charly Must Find A Way To Halt His Regression Before His Own Mind Destroys His Life, His Newfound Romance And The Man He'S Become. *1968: Actor

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
It was a great movie even thought it didn't follow the book that good. I think that Cliff Robertson did a very good job at it, but it was funny when Charlie fell in love Mrs. Kinnian because he kinda attacked her. The motor cycle part wasn't in the book and Dr. Strauss wasn't a man in the Movie but Dr. Strauss was a man in the book. Whoever said that the movie was awful stinks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I recommend that people of all ages should read the book and watch the movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Truly a classic! Dec 7 2011
By HH
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The book was required reading in high school English class, still remember the name Algernon. This movie, like so many others, deviates from the book, however, it is very well done just the same, emotional, sobering, an eye-opener. Sometimes you wonder whether this experient could very well be based on a true story some time and some way.

Cliff Robertson did an excellent job portraying Charly.

This is not a family movie because of the serious nature, depth and the violent encounter between Charly and his teacher. The movie looks dated but is good except for the distracting and annoying collage of psychedelic effects and scenes, which really took away from the film and thus the lower rating.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Charly DVD Oct. 17 2011
By Peter
Format:DVD
Very realistic. Be prepared for a tragic ending after a hopeful development.
Acting is of the highest quality.
Very realistic portraying of a medical impossibility.
Make you forget that it is actually medical science fiction.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A psychedelic adaptation of Flowers for Algernon Jan. 23 2003
Format:VHS Tape
I found both the short story, "Flowers for Algernon," and this film adaptation of it to be moving; but the experimental cinematography and somewhat immature storytelling of the screenplay at times made me squirm. The film is almost interesting in itself as a sort of time capsule of 1968 moviemaking; but in the end I think it rests on the strength of the original story and the sincere (if somewhat hokey by today's standards) performance by Robertson to make the movie work in spite of itself. Those plusses weren't enough, obviously, to save the film from obscurity; and it seems odd in an age of remakes that this gem hasn't been targeted for a modern reprise. It could certainly be done better with today's techniques and the maturity of the medium. Bottom line, it's worth renting, but I don't know if I'd want to own it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Rushed and Confused but Beautiful Nov. 10 2002
Format:VHS Tape
unfortunately this film tries to push the whole wonderful story 'Flowers For Algernon' into a way too short film. Everything is missing, the most important elements of the book are just not there.
Cliff Robertson is excellent but at times he looks too old for the part of Charly. His over-use of the drooling mouth effect can become annoying as does watching charly (low iq version) spelling out words with his lips.
However, watch this a few times and you will realize that this is a truly sweet film, sad and touching and great for rainy Sunday afternoons!
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1.0 out of 5 stars disappointing Nov. 3 2002
By C. Hill
Format:VHS Tape
I read the book Flowers for Algernon and thoroughly enjoyed it. So I was disappointed when I watched the movie and discovered that it was so bad. I think even if I hadn't read the book I wouldn't have enjoyed this movie. It seemed disjointed and choppy and the emotional trasition from mental disability to intelligence and back to mental disability was very unconvincing. If you want a good story, read the book and skip the movie.
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By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:VHS Tape
"Charly" is based on Daniel Keyes's short story turned into a novel "Flowers for Algernon." The story was about Charly Gordon, a man who, in the parlance of the time, was mentally retarded. As part of a scientific experiment he is given a drug that turns him into a genius. The Algernon of the title is a lab rat who was the first guinea pig for this treatment. However, the treatment proves to be only temporary. Both versions of Keyes's story were done as diary entries, which provided a graphic indication of how Charly is changing.
The 1968 movie version, of course, opens up the story and gets away from the first-person perspective that made "Flowers for Algernon" so compelling. To add insult to injury, there is now a romance between Charly with a character named Alice Kinian (Claire Bloom). Of course, this changes the whole dynamic of the film, at the cost of the poignancy of Charly's relationship with Algernon. As the title character Cliff Robertson won the Oscar and clearly the problem is not with his performance but rather with Stirling Silliphant's screenplay. Still, to be fair, any film adaptation of the fragile original story was going to lose what made it so great.
Consequently, this is one of those films that you will enjoy more if you have not read "Flowers for Algernon." Of course, if you have not read either the short story or the novel, you should. At least this was an intelligence "science fiction" film for its day, certainly a more human story than other films of that era, such as "2001: A Space Odyssey."
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4.0 out of 5 stars Skillful science fiction drama. July 7 2002
Format:VHS Tape
One interesting aspect of CHARLY is that, altho it was based on a Hugo-winning story from a science fiction magazine, there was nothing in the advertising to suggest that it is SF. That image of Cliff Robertson and Claire Bloom sitting by a pond is about as un-science fictional as you can get. Fortunately, the film is from an era when SF movies consisted of far more than spaceships and big explosions and is, for the most part, intelligently done. The final third is rather pretentious and is at odds with the tone of the earlier scenes, but the film's good points make it well worth seeing. (And Daniel Keyes' original short story is well worth reading.)
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